3 Changes That Will Come With Rapid Urbanization

Megatrend / Rapid Urbanization.

The number and scale of cities continues to grow around the globe. The United Nations (UN) reports that 54% of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and this will increase to 66% by 2050.

1. Increased Investment in Infrastructure


In order to make the future cities competitive, sustainable and resilient, there will be needed effective policy responses to the possible challenges that come with it. Policy-makers and the private sector must do effective planning and attract sustained investment in railroads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, power, energy, water, telecommunications and other types of infrastructure.

2. Shifting Economic Power


Asia and Africa are urbanizing at the fastest rate among regions which will also drive the world’s future economic growth. The impact will be seen in the shift in spending power to urban areas. By 2030, the world’s 750 biggest cities will gain 220 million additional middle-class consumers and form 60% of the total global spending, including an 88% growth in spending on non-essential products. Source: Future Trends and Market Opportunities in the World’s Largest 750 Cities, Oxford Economics, 2014

3. New Jobs


Rapid urbanization will drive the shift from agriculture to manufacturing in Africa. China’s large manufacturing centers, such as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are expected to benefit from a raise in industrial employment. Urban areas such as Delhi and Hanoi will continue to attract manufacturing and outsourced service jobs, including software development due to the competitive labor costs. Beijing, Lagos and Mumbai are all expected to create more financial service sector jobs than London from 2013 to 2030. Nevertheless, New York, London and Hong Kong will remain the world’s most powerful financial hubs. Source: Worldbank – Lessons for Africa from China 


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